Working Over And Around Gables And Dormer Windows: Tricky Roofs Installed

Posted on: 27 July 2019

Having multiple gables or dormer windows on your home certainly adds a lot of charm to it. However, it also adds a level of complication when you need a new roof. Highly skilled and experienced roofers can do residential roof installations that are tricky, and here is how it generally goes. 

For Multiple-Gabled Roofs

After the old roof has been removed, the wood layer that goes over every truss and every "rise and run" of every gable is nailed in place. Special gap pieces to cover areas where gables meet a center ridgepole are cut and nailed in place. The rubber or fabric roofing underlayments are easy enough to cut and fit because they can be custom-cut for your roof.

As for the shingles, they start from the tops of every ridgepole and every peak of each gable and are worked downwards to the edge of the roof. Any valleys where the gables meet the rest of the roof are worked last so that the shingles in these areas are positioned to move water away and down rather than collecting it from the gables and allowing the water to sit. It is not usually necessary to add eavestroughs/gutters to the gables, but it is recommended because it helps keep rainwater moving ever downward off the roof. 

For Roofs with Dormer Windows

Cape Cod homes frequently have dormers in their second stories. The dormers often have their own roofing sections that are perpendicular to the rest of the roof, which is why it is not always easy to replace this kind of roof. However, your contractor will be sure to install the roofing materials and shingles over the dormers first, and the rest of the roof second, so that the shingles on the rest of the roof do not interfere with the installation of the shingles over the dormers. In some homes where the dormer windows may have been added long after the original house was constructed, the roofs of the dormers intersect with the actual roof. Here, the shingles of the dormers run into and overlap the shingles of the rest of the roof. 

It helps to think of dormer windows as their own little "houses" over which their own little roofs are required. If your dormer windows peek out of your attic rather than a finished second story, that is even better because then the roofer's crew can work on the roofing over the dormers from inside the attic. It ensures that these areas are fully and effectively covered against precipitation of any kind.